Actions continues to rule the second screen experience with scripts and macros

One of the best things of following and supporting indie software is seeing how a product matures, evolves over time. It seems like it was yesterday when Actions was included on Apple's list 'Best of 2012' and gained the Editors' Choice spot on the App Store.

Although it appears incredibly technical at first, Actions is a great tool to combine the iPad with your Mac or PC as a second screen that makes interactions with your desktop apps much easier. Seeing the pictures of the app in action just gives you the idea how cool those chunky buttons are, but you need to try it — the wireless interaction is quite something. On my original Actions review, I was hesitant to adopt this new double-screen paradigm.

Just like these two apps, Actions for iPad is not designed for everyone. Although a lot of work has gone in simplifying the setup and adding the most obvious actions for popular apps, Actions is not for newbies. In fact, it draws the geek line quite high, making me doubt if this is something for me. The power user, though, will love to tinker with it, create custom actions and tweak all that magic in the same way they try with Keyboard Maestro and Launch Center Pro.

The developer team based in Italy has been pushing the envelope lately. A new update of Actions is out and I want to take the opportunity to play with the more sophisticated triggers in the same way you could use scripts or macros. The Flows add-on, which I discovered thanks to this in-depth tutorial for Evernote, allows you to tap one button on your iPad and begin a sequence of actions in a pure IFTTT for your computer. This includes things from tweeting a selected text to move files to specific folders. Believe me, it's really worth researching a bit about it, download some of the sets available online and try to tinker a bit with your own.

The latest Actions update includes a Sleep mode to preserve iPad battery by obscuring the screen when it's not in use — a nice touch that shows the app is still in active development.